Rabbi Baruch Dov Povarsky
Rabbi Baruch Dov Povarsky Aharon Krohn/Flash90

Rabbi Baruch Dov Povarsky, dean of the Ponovezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak, on Tuesday morning said that a teacher who does not get vaccinated is not worthy of being a teacher, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Rabbi Povarsky made the statement on Tuesday, when the head of a country-wide network of "talmud Torah" schools for boys arrived at his home in order to discuss whether a principal can obligate his teachers to receive the coronavirus vaccine. He also asked Rabbi Povarsky if he can put those refusing to vaccinate on unpaid leave, thereby creating an incentive for teachers to receive the vaccination.

"Before you ask me questions on Jewish law regarding finances, and if an employer has the right to demand an employee do such a thing," the rabbi said, "ask yourself if such a teacher is even worthy of teaching the Jewish people's holy children."

"A person who takes no responsibility for the lives of his students and the members of their families who may, G-d forbid, suffer harm and become sick because of him, is this person worthy of being an educator?

"Do we not have the opinions of great Torah leaders [who stated] that we should receive the vaccination? Does this teacher think he is smarter than the great Torah leaders? Do you think this person is so worthy of serving as an example in the education of Israel's children?!"

Earlier this week, Kan News reported that Rabbi Yehuda Silman, a senior rabbinic judge, ruled that all teaching staff can be obligated to receive the vaccination, regardless of where and who they teach.

In his ruling on the matter in Jewish law, Rabbi Silman wrote: "An employer may obligate his employees to receive the vaccination, a principal of an educational institution may obligate the teachers to receive the vaccination, and a yeshiva dean may obligate the students to receive the vaccination."

Earlier on Tuesday, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, the other head of Bnei Brak's Ponovezh yeshiva, said that yeshiva students should remain in yeshiva on Purim.

"This year, it is even more important than any other year to ensure that all of the yeshiva deans take care that their students remain in yeshiva over Purim and learn, and do not wander between houses at all - not even during the festive Purim meal," he said.

He added: "In this fashion we will be saved from the plague."